Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

Aussie kids wheeze their way through winter

One in ten Australian children are affected by asthma.

A fun new children’s book is helping families manage their asthma more effectively.

When children’s author Katrina’s Roe’s eldest daughter was just a toddler, winter was a difficult time. She would cough every night, often until she vomited. “We would go to the doctor totally sleep deprived and beg for a solution. The doctor would eventually prescribe an oral steroid. After a few days of medication the cough would subside, only to reoccur a few weeks later. This cycle continued until she was eventually diagnosed with asthma.”

Speaking at the launch of Katrina’s new book Emily Eases Her Wheezes, NSW Asthma Foundation CEO Michele Goldman confirmed her experience was a common one. “Childhood asthma can be quite difficult to diagnose. It often presents as a persistent cough that gets worse at night.”

Asthma remains a common reason for children presenting at hospital emergency departments. Winter can be a difficult time for parents and children with asthma, due to the prevalence of colds and flu, and the effect of cold air on sensitive airways. However, the triggers can be different for every child.

Emily Eases Her Wheezes is a beautiful new children’s picture book that helps children recognise the symptoms of, and triggers for, their asthma.  It was recently listed as a ‘Notable Book’ in the 2015 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards.

With Notes for Parents and Carers by Professor Peter van Asperen from The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, this book is a great resource for schools, day care centres and pre-schools. As the parent of a child with severe asthma, author Katrina Roe wants to reassure children that they can enjoy a healthy, active life with asthma.

According to Professor van Asperen, “The aim of asthma management is to help the child lead a normal lifestyle, free of both asthma symptoms and medication side effects. While asthma is common, effective treatment is available, and children can lead a normal life despite their asthma.”

Author Katrina Roe is available to speak about:

  • Her experiences as the mother of a child with persistent asthma
  • Many early hospital trips with her daughter’s asthma including one perilous time
  • The difficulties of diagnosing asthma in small children
  • Learning to recognise the symptoms of asthma
  • Learning to recognise her daughter’s triggers for asthma
  • The importance of helping children stay active in spite of asthma
  • Teasing and bullying in the playground associated with asthma

About the Author

Katrina Roe is an author and radio presenter. Most recently she was host of the morning show on Sydney’s Hope 103.2 radio (www.hope1032.com.au) before going on maternity leave to have her third baby.

Emily Eases Her Wheezes is Katrina’s second picture book. It was listed as a Notable Book in the recent 2015 CBCA Book of the Year Awards. It is a companion book toMarty’s Nut-Free Party, which was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Book of the Year Awards. Her third book, Same, a true story about her brother, who has cerebral palsy, is also about to be published by Wombat Books.

Katrina lives in Sydney with her three young daughters and her husband Chris, who is an Executive Producer with NITV news.

Katrina Roe is available for interviews by phone or in Sydney studios.

You can contact Katrina by

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 0412 425 745

Website: www.Katrinaroe.com

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When memories fade


by Kelly O'Gara and Anna McNeil

When a loved one’s memory starts to fade it’s hard on every member of the family, but particularly on children. It can be devastating for a child to watch a loving grandparent go from tender caregiver to someone who doesn’t know them.

Do You Remember is a moving picture book that helps children as they go through this difficult time. Beautifully illustrated, it tells the story of a little mouse whose beloved grandparent has good days where she smiles and knows the child to bad days when she doesn’t remember anything.

"Dementia is a condition that has tremendous effect on the whole family and can have a signficant impact on a child's relationship with their grandparent," said Kelly O'Gara, author and illustrator of the book. "I wrote Do You Remember with the help of Anna McNeil, to educate children about the condition and encourage them to continue spending time with their grandparent. The book tries to explain the confusing changes children may notice in behaviour, and introduce simple and beneficial ways of interacting with someone who had dementia.

"This book highlights the importance of love and memory in this situation, to foster positive interaction between loved ones."

Alzheimer's Australian encourages providing opportunities for children or grandchildren to talk openly, ask question and express their feelings about dementia. Children's literature may be a valuable starting point to raise awareness of dementia and how it affects families for young readers.

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Zoo Ball Announcements

Congratulations to all our student illlustrators who have been a part of the Zoo Ball. Emails have gone out to each entrant this morning. We will be announcing pages and winners through this week.

Top voted illustrators were:




Congratulation to these students who have been invited to contribute to the ends pages as well as their internal illustrations.

More page announcements coming soon!




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Wombat Books and Rhiza Press Submissions are Now Open.

Wombat Books and Rhiza Press are open for submissions as of Friday the 1st of May, 2015. We will be accepting unsolicited manuscripts for review.

What we are looking for.

We are looking for entertaining original manuscripts that leave a lasting impression. Wombat Books is accepting submissions for early readers and stand-alone picture books, aimed at preschool and early primary school. Rhiza Press is collecting manuscripts for predominantly ages 14 and above, including young adult fiction, adult fiction and biographies. We encourage you to know your publisher before submitting. To find out what we are looking for please read some of the books we have published.

For more information visit:



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Emily Wins More Than Children’s Hearts

Emily Wins More Than Children’s Hearts

One of Wombat Books’ beloved childhood characters, Emily the elephant, has recently received a place on The Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books 2015 list.

If Emily tries to play basketball, she ends up puffing. What can you do when asthma stops you from playing with your friends? Join Emily and her friends as they find a way she can join in on the fun.

Author, Katrina Roe and illustrator, Leigh Hedstrom have continued their success with Emily Eases her Wheezes, by featuring some of our favourite characters from their popular first title Marty’s Nut-Free Party. The authors have already seen Marty with his nut allergy shortlisted in the Speech Pathology Awards and read in schools and families around the country. Wombat Books is overjoyed to celebrate another success with their authors, as Emily the elephant not only wins over the hearts of children.

You can join Emily, Marty and their friends in this new adventure to help them understand asthma in a fun and entertaining way.

Wombat Books is committed to creating quality children's books that respect, value and uplift. Emily Eases her Wheezes is available in all good bookstores or online at www.wombatbooks.com.au.

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Zoo Ball update

This week we have contacted the winning voters in the Zoo Ball Challenge. These will be announced soon!

Our publishing team is busy choosing which page fits what in the Zoo Ball entries. Entrants will be advised via email shortly about how their illustrations might fit.


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An interview with Katrina Roe

An interview with Katrina Roe

Katrina is the author of Marty's Nut Free Party, shortlisted for the 2013 Speech Pathology Award and the upcoming Emily Eases her Wheezes.


I am Katrina Roe, a radio announcer at Hope 103.2 in Sydney, a children's picture book author, a mum of 2 and a wife of 1!!!

Question 1: What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?

The first stories I ever had published were in the Carrathool Public School newsletter, but before I had started school. I used to dictate them to my mum and she would send them in! One of the earliest stories that I still have a copy of was called My Trip in a Pink Bubble. It was an adventurous story with a journey to a strange land, a wicked witch, a narrow escape and of course, a happy ending. I still have a copy of that book, including my illustrations. I also had a poem called Summer is Here! that was published in The Land newspaper when I was about six years old. My mum was continually sending my poems and stories in to anyone that would publish them!

Question 2: What was your first book published?
The first book I had published was Marty's Nut-Free Party in 2012 with Wombat Books. Before that I had contributed to a couple of anthologies and I wrote a novel that was shortlisted for an award, but sadly, is still sitting in my bottom drawer.

Question 3: What is your favourite part about being an author?
I love every aspect of it. I love those first moments when the seed of an idea germinates in your head. I love reading out the early drafts to my writers' group and hearing all their suggestions. I love the moment when I pop it in the post box with all the excitement and anticipation and possibility that goes along with that. I even don't mind rejection letters as they make me feel that I am one step closer to success! I still tremble when a new contract appears and I love seeing those very first storyboards or roughs when the book starts to take shape. The moment the first copy of the book arrives on your doorstep is exhilarating and I love the fun and excitement of a book launch. But the very best moment is when you look up from a reading and see 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 little pairs of eyes all glued to the page, hanging on every word you're saying and waiting expectantly to see what happens next!

Question 4: What is the hardest part about being an author?
I find it hard to work alone and even more difficult to work at home, where there are so many distractions and always lots of mess! It's also hard to make it financially viable. One day I would really love to have my own studio or office to write in, where the walls would be filled with my favourite books, there would be just a kettle and a stash of tea, and preferably a beautiful view of ocean, rivers or bush! Sigh! Even just a laptop would be a bonus!

Question 5: What do you do for fun?
I love travelling and outdoorsy adventures like bushwalking and kayaking although I don't get much time for any of those things at the moment! I also just really appreciate spending time with close friends, preferably somewhere scenic. Right now I am on the 40th birthday party circuit, which has meant lots of silliness with old friends. Yay!

Question 6: How do you test out your stories? Or who do you test them on?
I usually read them to my kids and husband first, then I take them to my writers' group. Once I've got them to an acceptable level, then I ask a few trusted friends what they think.

Question 7: What was your favourite children's book when you were a kid?
If I'm really honest, my favourite was a Golden Book called Hunkydory. I also loved The Magic Faraway Tree stories, The Wishing Chair series and the Famous Five. When I got into later primary I devoured Gordon Korman books and my favourite was I Want to Go Home. It was about a smarty-pants loner who spends his entire holiday trying to escape from summer camp.

Question 8: What is your favourite children's book now?
It's really hard to narrow it down to just one. My favourite picture books are Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon and Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey, which both celebrate the absolute blessing and miracle it is to find a true friend.

Question 9: What writing genre do you like to do the most?
I like to write picture books the most, but I would also love to write a novel one day.

Question 10: What is your favourite way/time to read?
My favourite way to read grown-up books is on holidays, either at my parents' place in the country or at a beach house. It's the only time I get a chance to really demolish a book in a couple of days. However, my eight year old is a voracious reader now and we are tackling some really interesting stuff together, so I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend reading together each night. Sometimes I find myself sneakily skipping ahead to see what happens while she's cleaning her teeth.

Question 11: What book are you reading right now?
I most recently finished The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, The Importance of Being Seven by Alexander McCall Smith and am now starting on a new re-write of Jane Austen's Emma also by Alexander McCall Smith. With my eight year old, I'm reading Morris Gleitzman's Blabber Mouth and Sticky Beak, which we are loving! My 3 year old only reads Nick Bland's The Wrong Book (over and over and over again!) so I also read that most nights.


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Multiple Award Winners at the US 2014 Literary Classics Awards.

Multiple Award Winners at the US 2014 Literary Classics Awards.

Four of our fantastic authors won awards at the 2014 Children's Literary Classics Awards. The international competition, run out of the US, was created to ‘honour excellence in children's and young adult literature, thereby encouraging a passion for reading while promoting education, imagination and character in young readers.’

Congratulations to all of the authors who have been acknowledged for their fantastic work, including:

Without Me by Kayleen West (Picture Book/Preschooler - Silver)

Firelight of Heaven, by Lizbeth Klein (Fantasy Fiction/YA - Silver)

The Heir, by Lynne Stringer (Science Fiction/YA - Silver)

Motive Games, by L.D. Taylor (Faith Based/YA - Silver)


All of these titles are available in bookstores, libraries or click on the links above to buy online now.

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Jennifer Gress
Wonderful accomplishments! Congratulations to all the award winning authors and Wombat Books for their dedication to produce great... Read More
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:28
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Free book with all orders! One week only.

Free book with all orders! One week only.

Excited by the upcoming Illustration Challenge book - Zoo Ball, by Aleesah Darlison?

Purchase any book from our website this week and recieve a FREE copy of Aleesah's first book published with Wombat Books - Puggle's Problem (paperback).

Puggle's Problem is a gentle, humorous tale emphasising the importance of perseverance and patience. It also showcases some of Australia’s best-loved native animals and their unique characteristics.

ONE copy of the book will be sent every order place online through our website this week. 

Aleesah is also the author of Little Meerkat and Little Good Wolf illustrated by fellow Aussie, Shannon Melville.


*Offer valid until 5pm, AEST Friday, 28 November.

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Extra bonus for voting!

We would like to take the opportunity to assure children and families that voting is not the only criteria for whether their illustration will be published in the book. The judging panel will make their final say based on the skill level of the child ensuring the quality of the book is high.

The voting may influence placement and who gets priority where there are multiple entries for one page, however, we are hoping to be able to include the majority of children in the book in some way, even if that means children are asked to illustrate a different page or adjust their illustrations just like they would during a normal publishing process.

So all children's illustrations will be thoroughly considered by the judges for page placement.

We thank children and families for their response to the voting. We have decided to offer up to two extra prizes for children with high votes, separate to whether or not their illustrations are finalised in the pages of the book.

Out of the voting finalists we hope to choose children to give the following extra opportunity. Two children will receive a $100 Wombat Books voucher AND the opportunity to design the Ends Pages of the book. The ends pages are the inside front and back covers.


Don't forget voting closes on Friday, 28 November!

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When I See Grandma wins CALEB Award (Children's) 2014!

When I See Grandma wins CALEB Award (Children's) 2014!

When I See Grandma, by Debra Tidball has just won the CALEB Award 2014 in the Children's Category. This is the second time this book has been acknowledged as outstanding as it was also shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Awards 2014.

The book is a delightful insight into the transforming power of children and love to enjoy with your kids, grandkids or great-grandkids.

Two children visit their unresponsive grandmother in an aged care home and ‘brighten her dreams’ as the reader gains an insight into Grandma’s past, linking her past to the present. The bleakness of the setting is transformed by the children’s vitality that brightens the lives of the residents. And the children make memories they will treasure forever whilst helping Grandma remember.

“This beautiful book delicately points to the foundations of healthy grieving by showing practical demonstrations of love and focussing on creating and sharing memories. When I see Grandma is not only delightful to read, but a valuable resource for every home,” said Liz Mann, Bereavement Counsellor.

Congratulations also to winners under our Even Before Publishing imprint:

Nick Hawkes - The Celtic Stone (Fiction)
David Malcolm Bennett - From Ashes to Glory (Non Fiction)
Carol Preston - Suzannah's Gold (Bookseller's Choice Award)

When I See Grandma is available from all good bookstores, your local library or buy online now.


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Next installment in the Motive Games series released!

Next installment in the Motive Games series released!

Follow-up to the award-winning Motive Games just released!

The standalone sequel to the award-winning, Motive Games, by LD Taylor was released on 1 November by our new imprint Rhiza Press. Motive Games 2: Death Down Under, follows teenager, Phil Roland, and his videogame-production company across the world from Canada to New Zealand where the company is once again under threat.

Motive Games mysteries are fast-paced, high-tech thrillers enriched by thought-provoking themes. The first book, Motive Games, won the 2011 CALEB Prize for best Young Adult Manuscript and was a YA book silver medal-winner in the 2014 Literary Classics Book Awards in the USA.

'Having spent six months in a New Zealand police station, working as a university researcher, gave me an excellent opportunity to learn the ins and outs of crime investigation in my new country. I love the fact that I can give my readers 'true-to-life' glimpses into fascinating worlds (game development and murder investigation) and cultures (Canadian and Kiwi) that they might not otherwise be familiar with.

Social Rewards Programme
Readers who blog, tweet, Google + or write a FB comment about Motive Games 2: Death Down Under are eligible to receive a free enhanced ebook of the first story in the Motive Games series. In order to receive their reward, readers simply need to use the hashtag #motivegames with their social media post.

About Motive Games
In Canada, Phil Roland is a hero: he saved his dad's company, Motive Games; solved his dad's murder; and exposed a mafia ring. But by his second day in Auckland, Phil's life is out of control. The E3 East gaming show was supposed to be Motive's big chance to get published. Instead, people are blaming Phil for a controversial FPS; someone's hacked Motive's game; and Australian mega- distributer, PFG, is threatening to ruin the company. The guy whose name keeps popping up? PFG president, Bailey Kant. Thanks to Kant, Phil is dodging the press and protestors and being trailed by the mysterious girl in green.

Then a PFG exec turns up dead. An exec anyone could have mistaken for Kant. Now Phil and friends have 48 hours to solve the mystery... or watch their dreams die down under.

About LD Taylor
LD Taylor broke into the world of young adult fiction in 2011, after a successful and prolific career writing for the entertainment technology industry. In the award-winning Motive Games Taylor combined her in-depth knowledge of the game industry with her passion for mystery novels. Today, Taylor expands the Motive Games series, from her home in Whangarei, with the help of her daughter, sons and programmer husband.

Motive Games 2: Death Down Under is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Guest Reviewer: Dimity Powell reviews Without Me

Guest Reviewer: Dimity Powell reviews Without Me

WITHOUT ME Kayleen West
Remember those days in your childhood when you felt the undeniable urge to shed the shackles of family constraint and run away? I do. I spent long hours planning my departure, organising provisions, and packing essentials, which were every doll and stuffed animal I owned.

I can't remember the various motivations for my wanting to leave and of course most attempts failed, stalled inexplicably under the apricot tree en-route to 'not sure where'.

Many kids experience this kind of emotional quandary as they navigate their way through difficult life situations; bewildering social expectations and consolidation of their own unique identities. In short, it's part of growing up.

Kayleen West's picture book, Without Me, captures this crossroad period in a small boy's life as he plans to leave his family believing they no longer love him. He packs his bags along with his resolve and then just as he sets off, begins to revaluate his situation.

West creates an accumulative checklist for our would-be-runaway using the passing of minutes, a nice numerical inclusion for young readers whilst establishing a sense of order and reason. Our nameless protagonist soon realises that every member of his family relies on him and values him at some level, whether for food, comfort, play, or simply companionship. After just ten minutes, his desire to leave wanes and he discovers that his true worth lies within being part of his family with them, not away from them.

Love and belonging often evolve from a sense of need and acceptance but this equation is not always apparent to little people or easy for them to comprehend. West's sharply coloured illustrations and light-hearted narrative helps them make the connection whilst delivering a far reaching reminder that it is not always kids who want to run away from the realities of the world.

Suitable for 4 – 7 year olds.

Wombat Books 2013

Reviewed by Dimity Powell

For this and more reviews by Dimity Powell visit: http://dimswritestuff.blogspot.com.au/ 

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Guest — Robert Vescio
Wonderful review, Dimity. Great book, too!
Thursday, 28 August 2014 14:38
Guest — Dimity Powell
Thanks Robert. Nice message for us all too. :-)
Thursday, 28 August 2014 20:29
Guest — Kayleen West
Thank you for such a lovely review of my book Dimity!
Monday, 20 October 2014 04:09
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Green Heart of the Forest: Bethloria Book #2

Green Heart of the Forest: Bethloria Book #2

A once in a lifetime adventure!

The first crystal has been found. Six more are scattered throughout the lands and Morgran's power is increasing.

Two brothers and an Elf girl uncover dark secrets that drive them into another perilous land in Book 2 of Lizbeth Klein's Bethloria series, Greenheart of the Forest. After arriving at Syone, the only sanctuary left in Bethloria, the young protagonists discover that it isn't as safe as everyone believes. In fact, they barely survive werewolf-like creatures that breach its walls in order to hunt them down.

"What I love about this series is the thread of mystery which runs through and, I assume, will not be revealed until the very end," writes fellow author, Paula Vince. "Readers are left wondering about the linage of the two brothers and their rightful heritage."

That's because it's a cobwebby tale set in a mystical world where magic rules. Nothing is straightforward; everything is hidden, and dangerous.

Joined by an elemental, the journey takes the trio to an abandoned, underground city infested with giant, flesh-eating arthropods. Escaping that danger, worse awaits when they are captured by an evil tyrant and taken to Wychwyre. Here they face their greatest challenges of faith, loyalty and friendship when they attempt to free the people from the tyrant's rule, return the elemental to her home-tree and seek the second lost crystal.

"Nothing is easy for my heroes," Lizbeth explains. "It's written like that because precious things in life often come with personal struggle and sacrifice. This is a story of overcoming hardships that anchor us to the mundane. It also explores the blossoming of teenage love with all its emotional complexities."

Lizbeth lives in Sydney in the Sutherland Shire with her husband, Malcolm. She spends six days a week tutoring primary and high school students. In between, she's off fighting dragons or inventing far away kingdoms.

Greenheart of the Forest is available in all good book stores or buy online now.

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New Release: Possum Games

New Release: Possum Games

Late at night on a rusty tin roof, a possum finds his own special talent

Everyone is good at something. You just need to keep trying new things until you find your own special talent.

Written for young children aged from 4 to 8 years, Possum Games is written for anyone who has had possums living either on or in their roof. As many Aussies kids can identify with, possums always seem to be the loudest at bedtime.

Children will be captivated by the idea of the possums actually having their own nightly athletics carnival on the roof while they are sleeping. Riley is the smallest and most shy possum of the family, but he never gives up until he finds own amazing skills.

Michelle Worthington is an internationally published, award winning children's author. The stories she writes are like the stories she used to read when she was young with a modern twist.

"Don't be afraid to write picture books that push boundaries, invent words, and challenge readers. Picture books can change the world," said Michelle.

The author has volunteered as a story teller and workshop presenter at the 2012 Out of the Box Festival in Brisbane, the 2012 Gold Coast Writers Festival and 2013 4QK Special Children's Christmas Party and this year will be featuring at the Conscious Life Festival and Kids Culture on the Sunshine Coast as Fairy Belle, the book fairy. Her goal is to be known for classically elegant, entertaining and compassionate stories for young children.

Illustrator, Sandra Temple has been a professional artist, illustrator and author for more than thirty years. She has travelled extensively with her art, gaining insights into her special interest, the world's endangered species.

Possum Games is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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New Release: The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice

New Release: The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice

"Choice, set free."

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's apprentice – an unforgettable adventure.

Kidnapped and tormented by an evil archmage who wants them to learn to harness the power of evil, Kialessa and her part dragon friend Piex must find unexpected allies in their plans for escape. It's not the wicked goblins that worry them, or the troll infested swamp, or even the towering rot dragon that keeps them there, but a simple riddle. Will they ever be able to return to their king and college again?

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice is a fantasy adventure, by Dr Joe Ireland, about a little girl who is a lot different. She and her best friend find themselves prisoners of a powerful wizard, who promises them freedom if they can best his most challenging riddle: what is evil? With friends and family praying for their freedom, desperate attempts to escape, and finding friends in the most unlikely of places, what will it take to find freedom in a place that embraces evil?

The book is already receiving great feedback from its young readers. Emily, an avid reader said, "Wonderful!" Vanessa, a gifted young reader, proclaimed it, "just as good as the first book, but with dragons!"

Author Dr Joe, a touring science education specialist, designed the book series 'The Tae'anaryn' to align with the ethics and humanities curriculum in Australia. The Wizard's Apprentice is intended to be a 'thinking' book that discusses challenging issues, set at the safe distance of a fantasy setting, and at the same time to be thoroughly engaging.

"This book is not only entertaining, it is helpful," says Dr Joe. "How do you deal with the challenges of being away from friends and family? How do we confront those who have much more power than us, and intend to use it to force us to make choices we don't want? How does one confront a challenging problem such as defining what you consider to be 'evil'?"

Dr Joe has a lifelong passion for philosophy, science, and fantasy, having written several academic papers for the international journals of science education, as well as award winning fantasy for the Dungeons & Dragons Living Greyhawk fantasy campaign setting. Dr Joe lives in Brisbane with his wife and three daughters.

The Tae'anaryn and the Wizard's Apprentice is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Verindon Trilogy complete! Win the final book!

Verindon Trilogy complete! Win the final book!

The final book in the popular Verindon Series: The Reign has just been released and you can win a copy!

Subscribe and leave us a comment below about how music inspires you to go into the draw!

Music: a writer’s muse...

When Lynne Stringer writes, music is a constant inspiration.

With the upcoming release of The Reign, the third and final book in the Verindon Trilogy, Lynne talked about how much music helped her write.

“Each of my books so far have featured a ‘playlist’,” she said. “A playlist is like a soundtrack. I often have scenes laid out to a particular piece of music and I play them together in my head, with the piece of music accompanying the action.”

So strong is the voice of the music, Lynne has changed scenes to fit them.

“In The Heir there is a scene near the end which I had already written. Then I heard Muse’s Map of the Problematique and imagined the scene with the song. So powerful did the influence of that piece of music become, I adapted the scene to fit it more effectively.”

A similar thing happened in the second book in the trilogy, The Crown, with another of Muse’s songs: Glorious.

“Muse has definitely been a huge inspiration for me where writing it concerned. Their music is so emotive and is a great aid in the creative process.”

It also happens prior to writing. When Lynne was considering ideas for the story that became The Reign, a song helped make one scene come to life.

“I wasn’t completely sure where it was going, but I let Thom Yorke’s Hearing Damage inspire my imagination. It wasn’t long before I had the whole scene worked out in my head.

“I think music will always play a part in my writing. I’d like to thank all the artists out there for inspiring me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!”

The playlists for Lynne’s books can be found on the Verindon Trilogy’s website: www.verindon.com.

The Reign is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.


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Guest — Elaine Fraser
Wow! That's an amazing thought process. You must have a mathematical mind as the beats in music are often seen as a learning aid i... Read More
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:46
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New Release: Happy Pants

New Release: Happy Pants

Happy Pants is set for release on 1 May 2014 and you can win a copy!

Subscribe and leave us a comment below with the name you subscribed to go into the draw!


Not all Mums are happy on Mother’s Day…

For the one out of seven Australian mothers who suffer from post-natal depression, Mother’s Day is a sad reminder of their inability to cope. Author Heather Gallagher hopes her first picture book Happy Pants will inspire the many families who suffer as a result of the illness.

Happy Pants is a heartfelt way to help older children know that their mum’s postnatal depression is not because of them,’ said PANDA (Post and Antenatal Depression Association) chief executive Belinda Horton. ‘That dads are loving and caring, families can support each other and that mum will get better with help.’

Happy Pants is about a little boy who adores his Mummy. But when she comes home with his baby brother, she seems to have become a different person. The boy feels betrayed and confused, and sets about trying to make Mummy better…

Children’s author Heather Gallagher suffered PND following the births of both her daughters, now aged 9 and 12.

Ironically, the depression became a catalyst for Heather to act. She founded a playgroup for Mum’s with PND, Parents Overcoming Depression with Support (PODS). And went on to launch her career as a children’s writer.

‘With Happy Pants I wanted to let kids know that while they can’t make Mummy better, things will improve with time and love,’ she said. ‘There will come a day when Mum can put on her happy pants again!’

Happy Pants is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Recent Comments
Jennifer Gress
Although I am yet to read it Heather, congratulations. You are so correct in uderstanding that when a mum is suffering her childre... Read More
Saturday, 10 May 2014 13:04
Jennifer Gress
I have yet to read the book but wish to offer my congratulations. And yes Mother's Day is not a happy Day for everyone. Even adu... Read More
Monday, 12 May 2014 15:47
Jennifer Gress
Thanks for your lovely comments Sue
Tuesday, 20 May 2014 16:26
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A chat with illustrator Liz McGrath

A chat with illustrator Liz McGrath

As part of the inaugral Wombat Books Illustration Challenge, we will be running a series of blogs featuring successful illustrators - to offer advice and inspiration and help budding illustrators learn from the best in the 'biz'.

Liz McGrath is the illustrator of the new Happy Pants, due for release in May 2014.

I'm Liz McGrath, the illustrator of Happy Pants, a bittersweet story of a little boy whose life is turned upside down when his new baby brother arrives. The boy is very confused by his mum's changed mood. It's a sad time for him, but the story shows the family finding support, and ends as we glimpse a brighter future for them all.

Question 1: When did you start illustrating and what was the first book you ever illustrated?

I've always loved to draw and paint, and became an art teacher. Over the years I've illustrated lots of books, but most of them don't appear in bookshops. They are the sort of books or booklets that you are given for free. For example a multicultural songbook that was given to kids when they visited their maternal and child health nurse. And a book showing non-English speaking mums ideas on how to be active with their kids. Even a kit used in schools used to encourage kids to walk or ride to school. I've also done lots of posters, postcards and magnets. In fact my own kids used to say "you may not be famous Mum, but you sure are on a lot of fridges!"

Question 2: What is the most challenging part of being an illustrator?

Understanding someone else's idea, and bringing it to life. It's a shared journey, and that can take a lot of talking and listening.

Question 3: What is your favourite part about being an illustrator?

I feel very lucky when I spend time at my desk working with paints and pencils. It's like a dream come true. And I get really excited about seeing the finished product.

Question 4: When given a story to illustrate, what is the first thing you do to get your ideas flowing?

Rough sketches, and lots of them. Look out for the bits that work, and think about what makes them work.

Question 5: If you could give one piece of advice to a budding illustrator, what would it be?

Listen carefully, read lots of great picture books, and have fun.

Find out more about Liz McGrath

Find out more about the Illustration Challenge


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New Release: The Bear Said Please

New Release: The Bear Said Please

The Bear Said Please has just been released and you can win a copy!

Subscribe and leave us a comment below with the name you subscribed to go into the draw!

A picture book The Bear Said Please featuring a very hungry, friendly bear is North Queensland writer and artist Jacque Duffy's latest book.

Jacque said 'It is a fun rhyming picture book aimed at 2-7 year olds. A very hungry bear discovers there's something he needs even more than honey and a full tummy – good manners!'

With the thought that her character looked as though he could use a good cuddle, Jacque has made 10 beautiful cuddly bears to give away as promotion for her new book. The Bear Said Please will be released April 1st by publisher Wombat Books and the promotion finishes on the 31st March. To be part of the 'Win a Bear' promotion visit Jacque's website www.jacquesartandbooks.com.

The Bear Said Please appears in a National Curriculum publication Playing with Grammar in the Early Years published by the Australian Literacy Educator's Association. Jacque said 'I am honoured to have my book used in such a way. The other books appearing in this publication are written by my role models, I am humbled to have my book sitting next to theirs. '

The Bear Said Please is a hard cover, fully illustrated rhyming book featuring a bear who wakes up hungry and goes in search of his favourite food. 'This bear is very huggable,' says Jacque. 'I really enjoyed drawing him getting into trouble and being a bit of a klutz. I see more adventures in his future.'

Jacque Duffy is a Mena Creek artist and writer. Her writing stretches from picture books, educational children's books, and crime writing. Several of her children's books have been purchased by the Queensland State Government and integrated into schools and libraries. Her art ranges from photorealism, to complete abstraction, through to illustration, graphic art and soft sculpture.

Her artwork has won many major awards and is in galleries and private collections around the world.

Just in time for the school holidays and Easter The Bear Said Please will make a lovely gift for the little people in your life.

The Bear Said Please is available in all good bookstores or buy online now.

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Jennifer Gress
Good manners are so important. My soon -to-be Miss Three year old granddaughter would love this book for her birthday
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 17:45
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